Jason Kidd is now a cursed coach
In Jason Kidd's first effort as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, he guaranteed that the team will never win a title with him at the helm. Late in the opening day of the Orlando Summer League, he twice ordered intentional fouls of Detroit's backwards-shooting bricklayer Andre Drummond. (The linked essay explains the concept of shooting backwards and how the talented, exciting young center and many of his peers got stuck with this preposterous technique.)
The hoop gods hate off-the-ball intentional fouls and the idiots running the NBA who provide look-at-me coaches with an incentive to bring brisk, enjoyable games to a screeching halt. According to veteran scribe Sam Smith, the odious tactic was first employed in 1966-67 by Bulls coach Johnny "Red" Kerr against Wilt Chamberlain of the 76ers, "but the league was furious and passed a rule for the next season — since overturned — making the tactic a technical foul." I don't know when it was overturned or why, but it has to go down as one of the all-time dumb decisions.
Fortunately, the unemployment lines are littered with modern ex-coaches who showed just how incredibly clever they are by employing Hack-a-Shaq to one or another hoopster who struggles at the stripe. Back in June 2008 I listed a bunch of the miscreant coaches and the fate that befell them after they angered the hoop gods.
I did get one prediction wrong in that essay. I presumed that the hoop gods would not let Doc Rivers — who in 2003 had sent Ben Wallace to the line 22 times in Game 6 as the Orlando Magic was in the process of squandering a 3 to 1 lead to the Pistons — coach Boston to the 2008 title. The Celtics did indeed win, but I take comfort that such a stacked squad only won a single ring. As a fan of DeAndre Jordan I'm sorry to see Rivers bring his cursed fate to the long-suffering Clippers. But I'm delighted that Gregg Popovich remains doomed. Ever since he went whole hog for Hack-a-Whomever in 2007-08, inspiring a host of coaches to follow his lead, his powerhouse Spurs have come up short when it mattered most. Couldn't happen to a more obnoxious guy.